Even our children experience stress in their lives and the more stressed out they become, will take a toll on their self-esteem.  Examples of stress induced situations include:  going to a new school, getting teased, losing a game, getting poor grades, having a new brother or sister or being yelled at.

Children can only take so much and they need options to manage stress.  Here are 10 ways for children to reduce and manage their stress levels.

1.  Do not keep secrets inside that are hurting you.  Reach out to someone who can help.

2.  If getting teased, try agreeing with the teasing remark and even adding a humorous spin to it.  If you trip and fall on the playground, for example, say “You are right, I did fall and I enjoyed the trip.”

3.  Get your tension out by exertion of physical activity such as jumping on a trampoline, riding your bike or scooter, go for a run,  or even give a big shout outside.

4.  Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes.

5.  Dive into a hobby that you enjoy.  Drawing, playing an instrument, dance, karate, gymnastics, building airplane models are examples of a few.

6.  Get plenty of sleep each night, make healthy food choices and drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

7.  If you are having a rough time, call up a friend to hang out with and share your feelings.

8.  Practice taking 5 deep breathes and relaxing your body from head to toe.

9.  Talk to an adult that you can trust about your feelings.

10.  Journaling your feelings and thoughts is a great way to get things out on a daily basis.

Help your child to lead a lifestyle of wellness that includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, and skills in managing stress by discussing and encouraging the above ideas.  Learning these techniques will only benefit them as they are adults.


Affirmations are positive statements about who we are and what we can become and experience.  They help us focus on what we want.  The key in using affirmations effectively is to have them evoke positive emotions within us.  You know the old saying, “you are what you eat”?  Well, even more powerful than that is “you are what you think.”

When we use affirmations and positive self-talk, our children learn how to do this for themselves.   The best way to teach our children is to model it for them.  Affirmations work very rapidly with young children because they still remember the truth of their inner power, abundance, and love.  Reinforcing these positive thoughts and feelings gives children the self-confidence, positive attitude and beliefs which help them create joyful experiences.

It is the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief.  Once the belief becomes a deep conviction, positive things begin to happen.  Here are a few examples that can be practiced each day with your child:

I am peaceful inside.  I am proud to be me.  I am strong, but gentle.  I am lovable and capable.  I love to learn.  I am an honest person.  I trust myself.

Remember to state your affirmation in the present form and not in the future.    Present:  I am a leader      Future:  I want to be a leader

Studies show that it takes 30 days to create a new habit, so be consistent and persistent with self-affirming and watch you and your child’s self-esteem grow!

You’ve never met an ungrateful person who was happy, nor have you ever met a grateful person who was unhappy. – Zig Ziglar

By simply focusing your thoughts and attention on the abundance that is already present in your life, you will literally shift your energy to a positive vibration that will automatically and effortlessly attract even more to be grateful for.  Most children are too young to really understand the concept of this and that is why it is critical for their role model (parent/guardian) work with them.

Children that grow to learn to be grateful for where they are and what they already possess can have a profound impact on their lives.   As the saying goes, “Gratitude makes a great attitude!” Even in the midst of extremely challenging circumstances, we can usually find something to be thankful for. In addition to helping us cope with challenges, this kind of grateful attitude can be contagious and is a wonderful life lesson to share with our kids.

Here are some suggestions for making gratitude a regular habit:

1. Make it a Habit

Learning to be truly grateful can change your life. One way to continue a new “attitude of gratitude” is to create a habit around your thankfulness. For example, you might set aside a time of day with your child to reflect on what you are grateful for.  A great time could be when you sit down for dinner as a family.  While you’re eating dinner with your kids, go around the table and share one or two things that you’re thankful for. What’s especially great about this simple habit is that your kids will inspire you to see things you hadn’t seen before.

2.  Keep a Gratitude Journal

Discuss with you child five things each day that you’re grateful for and write them down.  At first, you might think that it would be hard to come up with different things each day, but you’d be surprised at how expressing gratitude in this way causes you to recognize that you have more to be thankful for than you ever could have imagined.  Also, it is completely okay if you child repeats some of their grateful feelings.

 3. Be Grateful for the Challenging Times Too

Share with your kids some of the challenging times you’ve gone through in life that you’re also grateful for. Some of these examples might relate to your parenting experiences. A simple example might be the sleepless nights you spent when your children were infants. It certainly wasn’t fun to be up most of the night, and it was hard to function at work the next day, but those moments of bonding together were also irreplaceable.

 4. Write a Letter of Thanks and Express Out Loud

Don’t keep your gratitude to yourself! When you feel thankful for certain people in your life, be bold enough to personally let them know or write down all of your feelings in a letter. One big mistake we tend to make, too often, we don’t let others know what they mean to us. You can take one small step toward changing this by writing a letter of gratitude to an old friend, family member, mentor, or friend.  When your kids see you acting this out, they will be sure to follow in your habits.

 The most important thing to keep in mind is that parents are living and breathing examples to their children.  They watch everything we do, listen intently to things we say and they observe how we handle situations and treat others.  As a parent, live the “attitude for gratitude” and you will be setting your child up for a life filled with thankfulness and purpose.

When we use affirmations and positive self-talk as parents, our children learn how to do this for themselves.  Affirmations work very rapidly with young children because they still remember the truth of their inner power, abundance and love.  Reinforcing these positive thoughts and feelings gives children the self-confidence, positive attitude and beliefs which help them create joyful experiences.

An affirmation is simply a statement, directed toward yourself, confirming that what you want to happen is happening.  Daily affirmations are a powerful tool for self-empowerment and a fulfilled life.  Daily affirmations directly affect your conscious and your subconscious mind, therefore helping you integrate a positive belief system, build self-confidence and self-esteem, sharpen your mental skills and get control of your mind.

When our children are feeling down, angry or upset, using affirmations and positive visualizations can change their focus from what they do not want to what they DO want.  Changing their thoughts to positive and happy ones, puts them in a good emotional place to attract that which they desire.

We can make affirmations especially powerful when we put emphasis on the words “I AM.”  The words “I AM” call the creative aspect of God within us.  Encourage children to use esteem-building “I am” statements like “I am lovable.” “I am helpful and caring.”  To reinforce “I am” statements when talking to your children, you can substitute “I am” for “You are”.  For example, “You are lovable.” and “You are helpful and caring.”  Remember to keep affirmations short, simple and clear.  The shorter the better because this makes it easier to remember.  A few key points when affirming:

  1. Affirmations work best when we are very relaxed, such as falling asleep, waking up or meditating.
  2. Include a mental picture which evokes emotions to go with the affirmation.
  3. Repeat affirmations often during your day.
  4. Use different ways to affirm:  read it, write it, visualize it, speak it, sing it, and dance to it.  The more creative, the more powerful!

As you go about your day, be a role model and affirm yourself!  As parents, we are our children’s most powerful role-models.  We can help empower them by using positive self-talk ourselves.  Using affirmations that reflect self-confidence, love, trust, and abundance to create our own reality is the best example we can give our children.  It is up to us to provide children with tools they can use to empower themselves and counteract the negative and self-limiting thoughts that bombard them on a daily basis.  

Affirmations, combined with positive emotions, are a powerful way to help us and our children manifest a joyful and purposeful life.   And, who wouldn’t want that!

Public speaking is defined as the process of speaking to a group of people in a structured, deliberate manner intended to inform, influence, or entertain the listeners.

Many adults have public speaking fear because they never overcame that fear as a child. Learning how to speak in front of others is a skill that can be developed.  If you introduce public speaking at an early age, your child will have the benefit of extensive practice, training and learning. Learning effective communication skills helps young people navigate the world and develop a strong foundation for their future. Some benefits children get from public speaking are:

Self confidence and self image improvement.

Better ability to listen.

Enhanced skill to help and motivate others.

Ability to persuade people to reach and attain goals.

Improved memory, writing and reading skills

Improved interpersonal and socialization skills.

Ability to negotiate and communicate

Public speaking instills confidence and helps people to become better communicators, and generally more successful in all aspects of life.  When there is a chance for your child to practice public speaking, take advantage of it because it will be extremely beneficial for them as an adult.

www.missbrooklynnproductions.com  – events and programs that build and enhance the inner beauty, self-respect and confidence in young girls.  Miss Brooklynn Productions – where your child can shine!

  Miss Brooklynn Productions held the 2011 All-Natural Miss Sweetheart “Inner Beauty” Pageant on February 20th from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel.  It was a sold out event and the day was filled with music, new friendships, and family fun. Each of the 50 contestants were personally crowned with a rhinestone sterling silver tiara by Snow White, plus each received an exclusive swag bag filled goodies including Princess Silly Bandz, a keepsake necklace, a fairy wand, and cupcake from SmallCakes!   Angel Babies, Mommy Shop, Happy-Names, The Junior League of Wyandotte and Johnson Counties, Zach’s Bandz, Andrew Young Orthodontics, and Todd Davidson Photography set up vendor booths displaying a variety of goodies for purchase. 

 Contestants checked in at 12:00 p.m. and were excited to begin their day with a special Meet and Greet and photo session with the reigning Mrs. Kansas, Emily Kuhlman and Mrs. Missouri, Melissa Roe.  Girls aged 6 mo. to 12 years shined on stage in two rounds wearing their “Outfit of Choice” and “Sunday’s Best.”  The girls individually graced the stage with courage and as the day progressed, they exuded with inner beauty and confidence!  During the “Sunday’s Best” segment of the pageant, each girl age 3 and older was posed interview questions.  The girls all did a brilliant job answering their questions.  Executive Director, Elaina Huffman says “It was a successful event due to the countless number of smiles on the girls’ faces.  Our mission is to help build self-esteem in young girls and this event definitely boosted their confidence!”

 The 2011 All-Natural Miss Sweethearts are:  Makayla Stinson, Baby Miss; Trinatey Marti-Chen, Toddler Miss; McKenzie Malan, Tiny Miss; Lexi Foster, Little Miss; Kennady Torrence, Young Miss; and Luci Conkling, Junior Miss.

 Tiaras for Tots, Miss Brooklynn Productions’ non-profit organization, held a raffle with fabulous prizes from Bella B’s, Baskets by Brandy, Hoffman International Modeling Agency, Pinnacle Gymnastics, and Stephanie’s Wonderland.  Over $300 was raised for The Waner Children’s Vascular Anomaly Foundation.  For more information on this organization, please visit www.wanerkids.org.  Thank you to all who purchased raffle tickets and supported this amazing cause. 

 The event was a huge success and we would like to thank all of our participants and their families, as well as our “esteem panel” and volunteers.

Our “esteem panel” judges included, Crystal Marn, Laura Beckley, Brooke Johnson, Emily Kuhlman and Melissa Roe.  Our volunteers included Angela Klappa, Brooke Herring, Deneisha Abercrombie, Glenda Huffman, Lisa Knight, Madison Weaver, Megan Steinhart, Michelle Morris, Pam Weaver, Sam Linville, Shayla Hammeke, Stephanie Shimer, Jessica Kimbrell, and Kathy Phillips.

 This event could not have been possible without our wonderful sponsors.  Our platinum sponsors were Bella B’s, Bella Bambino’s and Mommy Shop.  Gold sponsors included Gail’s Scoop, Todd Davidson Photography, Millenium Images, Encore Elite Entertainment, Happy-Names, Angel Babies, SmashBurger, Smallcakes, Andrew Young Orthodontics, KC Metro Moms, and The Junior League of Wyandotte and Johnson Counties.  Our silver sponsors included Baskets by Brandy, Immaculate Cleaning Services, Stephanie’s Wonderland, Kari Lind Creations, The Language Workshop, Zach’s Bandz, Essential Publications, R.S.V.Party, Huffman Chiropractic & Acupuncture, Here We Grow Again Kids Consignment Sale, and Hoffman International Modeling Agency.  Our bronze sponsors included A Fairytale Ballet, Lifeshare, Thirty-one and Designer’s Wholesale Flooring.  Please support these wonderful businesses.

 A very special thank you to the following people who brought this event to life:  Janice McConnaghy of R.S.V.Party, event planner;  Bree Atkins of The Sheraton Hotel Overland Park;  Hillary Zobeck, graphic designer;  Melissa Lewis as Snow White;  Debbie Lindelaub, emcee;  Debbie Leonard, auditor;  Danny Goyer, music and lighting;  Nick James, videographer; and Todd Davidson, photographer.

 Miss Brooklynn Productions is so excited to be hosting the 2011 All-Natural Miss Firecracker Inner Beauty Pageant on July 10, 2011 at The Sheraton Hotel Overland Park.  Contestant registration will be open up in mid-April on our website at www.missbrooklynnproductions.com.  If you are interested in sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, please contact Elaina Huffman at 913.732.FUN7 or elaina@missbrooklynnproductions.com.  We look forward to another amazing event and creating more confident young girls!

Congratulations to Miss Brooklynn Productions, assistant director, Susan Thorne-Thomsen on being part of the 2011 class of KC Business’ Rising Stars.  We are  proud of her dedication to her profession and community.  Susan will receive this honor at a celebration on Thursday, February 17th at the Ritz Charles.  Please read on for excerpts from the article in the KC Business Magazine.
– from the cover of:
KC Business Magazine, February 2011
Rising Stars
Kansas City’s Next Generation of Business Leaders
-from page 28:
 Rising Stars
Kansas City’s future business leaders are already making a significant impact
story by Alicia McGarry and KC Business Staff
The 2011 class of KC Business’ Rising Stars comprises 49 young professionals who were chosen by an objective panel of judges, based on a variety of criteria.  Many have increased company revenue or helped build business based on individual work.  Others have continually displayed innovative thinking or leadership abilities that positively influence the direction of a company despite tough economic times.  And most seek opportunities beyond their professional bubble, impacting the community through philanthropic efforts. 
This year’s Rising Stars may be as diverse as they come, but all evince one common quality:  When faced with a challenge -whether that’s an established organization’s resistance to change, a technological barrier, or a sharply downturned economy – our Rising Stars meet the challenge with striking force.
from pages 35 & 36:
 Susan Thorne-Thomsen
Miss Brooklynn Productions
Susan Thorne-Thomsen, 36, has her hands full as a mother of three, civic volunteer and assistant director or Miss Brooklynn Productions.  And, this spring, she and her husband, former chef for Michael Smith ane Extra Virgin restaurants, will open Story, a creative American eatery.  The former owner of a gourmet food store and cafe in Wichita, she helps Miss Brooklynn Productions put on events and programs to help girls develop self-esteem.  The events include an all- natural beauty pageant (meaning no makeup or hair extensions).  Thorne-Thomsen has also chaired the silent auction for the Tiny Tim Holiday Fantasy, a benefit for the Shawnee Mission Medical Center, for the last three years, and she is active in Junior League.

Self-esteem is defined as the collection of beliefs or feelings we have about ourselves, our “self-perceptions.” How we define ourselves influences our motivations, attitudes, and behaviors and affects our emotional adjustment.

A healthy self-esteem is a child’s armor against the challenges they face every day in this evolving world. Kids who feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. They tend to smile more, make friends easier and simply just enjoy life. These kids are realistic, set goals in their life and are generally optimistic.

In contrast, kids who think poorly of themselves can find challenges to be sources of major anxiety and frustration. They also have a hard time finding solutions to problems and they may become passive, withdrawn, or depressed. Faced with a new challenge, their immediate response is “I can’t.”

Here are a few ways how a parent can play an important role in promoting healthy self-esteem in their child:

Spend a lot of time with your child especially doing things they like and they feel they are good at.

 Allow your child to make decisions and choicesso they learn to be responsible and to trust themselves. Let them “own” their problems. If they solve them, they gain confidence in themselves. If you solve them, they’ll remain dependent on you. Take the time to answer questions. Help children think of alternative options.

Avoid too much criticism. Blame and negative judgments are at the core of poor self-esteem and can lead to emotional disorders.

 Help your child solve problems for themselves – do not always rush to rescue them from frustrating situations.  This will teach them that patience and perseverance can be rewarding.

Not responding to their statements of dissatisfaction with praise. If your son says he stinks at baseball, avoid saying “Oh don’t say that, you are a great baseball player.” Instead, acknowledge the feelings shown, and help him plan for a better performance the next time. The best praise you can give your child is praise of his or her own judgment.

Show your child that you can laugh at yourself – Show them that life doesn’t need to be serious all the time and that sometimes we just have to laugh at ourselves. Your sense of humor is important for their well being and confidence.

Accepting your children for who they are – not who you want them to be. When you accept your entire child – the good and the bad – your child can accept themselves.

Show interest  – this goes for your child’s activities, projects, problems and aspirations they have in life.  The concept of success following persistence starts early. As kids try, fail, try again, fail again, and then finally succeed, they develop ideas about their own capabilities. At the same time, they’re creating a self-concept based on interactions with other people. This is why parental involvement is key to helping kids form accurate, healthy self-perceptions.

“I began to understand that self-esteem isn’t everything; it’s just that there’s nothing without it.”~~ Gloria Steinem, American icon, journalist, women’s rights advocate, and the founder of Ms. magazine.

www.missbrooklynnproductions.com  – events and programs that build and enhance the inner beauty, self-respect and confidence in young girls.  Miss Brooklynn Productions – where your child can shine!

Miss Brooklynn Productions is proud to introduce All-Natural “Inner Beauty” Pageants to the circa of pageantry.  Unfortunately, the term “pageant” has picked up some negative connotations over the years, especially when you use “pageant” and “child” in the same sentence.  Critics would argue that pageants which include children are filled with exploitation and emphasis on physical beauty, the fanciest dress or the biggest hair.  In the past few years we have also witnessed children not looking their age when using false nails, spray tans, hair pieces, eyelashes and even fake teeth.  No wonder pageants have become frowned upon!

We want to help redefine “pageant” and get back to its original focus, which is a celebration.   Therefore, an “inner-beauty” pageant is a celebration highlighting the poise, self-confidence, and beautiful souls in our young girls of today.  With all of the attention from the media and pop culture placed on the “exterior”, we like to focus all of the attention on what really matters, which is the “interior”.   Every single child has something beautiful within them and when that inner beauty is drawn out, it is so magical!

All-Natural Pageants are for girls who exude inner beauty with their personality, charisma, kind heart and positive attitude.  It means wearing no make-up and keeping skin, hair and teeth natural.  We also encourage the girls to display good sportsmanship, honesty and to remain true to themselves.

The benefits to a child being involved are priceless!  Every time she steps onto a stage and into the spotlight, her self-confidence, poise, eye contact and public speaking skills are developed.  These qualities will lay the foundation of lasting self esteem and cultivate the traits of a leader!

We encourage girls with and without pageantry experience to join the fun and are NOT looking for the glitz, glam, frills and twills.  We are looking to recognize sweet girls with confidence, poise, and a positive spirit. Our pageant system has a solid core  rooted in good values, organization, integrity, and they are fun for the whole family!   Each girl will be honored on stage with a beautiful silver rhinestone tiara and it will be presented by a very special guest…Snow White!   Plus, each girl will walk away with a goodie bag filled with items such as princess silly bands, an adorable necklace, cool stickers and more!  Besides, what little girl wouldn’t want to meet new friends, dress up and have fun on stage!

Miss Brooklynn Productions offers three pageants annually. The All-Natural Miss Sweetheart Pageant in February, the All-Natural Miss Firecracker Pageant in July and the All-Natural Miss Boo-tiful Pageant in October.  For more information please go to www.missbrooklynnproductions.com or email info@missbrooklynnproductions.com.